Starting Saturday, June 4, the Sie FilmCenter will celebrate the famed author — weeks ahead of the July 1 opening of Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Dahl’s The BFG — by showing the great canon of films based on his works, beginning with the 1971 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The film’s fun theme will carry over through the series, with all filmgoers entered to win a Golden Ticket prize that will award one lucky winner and three of their friends or family members a magical behind-the-scenes tour of the Sie FilmCenter, where they’ll learn about film projection, popcorn popping and selling tickets, and get to show the film of their choice.
"I remember watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as a kid, and it was unlike anything I had ever seen. I fell in love with movies that day,” remembers Ernie Quiroz, programming manager for the Denver Film Society. “We hope to pass our love of movies on and create a program that can be enjoyed by multiple generations this summer.”
Tickets for each of the seven films — which include Matilda, the 1989 animated version of The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Witches, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and James and the Giant Peach — are $5 (children six and under free) and include an all-you-can-eat cereal bar beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday before the film. During the series, neighbor and partner Tattered Cover Bookstore will offer prizes, redeemable at the Sie, to any kids reading Roald Dahl novels this summer.
Tickets for the series are on sale now at denverfilm.org and at the Sie FilmCenter box office, 2510 East Colfax Avenue.
Here’s the full lineup:
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 4
Gene Wilder led a cast of memorable kids through a candy factory filled with pure imagination and a boatload of songs and Oompa Loompas.
10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 11
Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman brought this bewitching Dahl tale to life; the film inspired the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.
The BFG (1989)
10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 18
Brian Cosgrove, famed animator behind The Wind in the Willows and Danger Mouse, took the first stab at bringing this beloved Dahl tale to the big screen.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 2
Precious filmmaker Wes Anderson finally put his twee skills to good use in this stop-motion animated tale featuring the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and more!
10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 9
Anjelica Huston terrified a generation as the queen of a coven of witches who turn the story's hero into a mouse when he sees something he shouldn't have.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 16
Dahl wrote the screenplay for this beloved Dick Van Dyke musical based on a set of novels written by James Bond series creator Ian Fleming.
James And The Giant Peach
10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 23
The Nightmare Before Christmas director Henry Selick took on this juicy tale of a mistreated orphan who hitches a ride on a flying fruit and the bugs that live within.